"Whisky Sierra Three, this is Ground Control; be advised you are veering off course. You are at extreme west of secure airspace over."
"Ground Control; this is Whisky Sierra Three; instrument check - please comfirm course actual vector, over."....In the middle of a sheep pen, several miles north of Brecon, General Frank Kitson, his ADC Major Pyke, Parachute Regiment, Corporal Dewhurst and Lt (AAC) Lacey are clambering out of a very bent Westland. Dusting themselves off and checking assets they find radio u/s, one sniper rifle, two Sterlings and two Brownings. Just over the moor to the east, a gaggle of DPM clad Taffs are scattering sheep in all directions as they jog towards the scene, one drops to his knee and gets quick a message off - "Scrum Half 'ere it is, we got a saes chopper down up by Troed y Rhiw Fwrch we ave, so get a ruddy move on bach!".
"Whisky Sierra Three, you are 15 degrees off course and are now over a known hostile area. Change course; repeat change course."
"Ground Control, this is Whisky Sierra Three, I am losing altitude.....fast.....correcting spin.....negative, we are going in hard.....brace, brace, brace...."
"Whisky Sierra. This is Sector Command. Do you copy? Is your cargo safe?"
"This is Sector Command; scramble Helo QRF to these coordinates....."
"Bit of a drama , Nigel?"
"Drama? Not at all Sir, its only General Kitson's helo crashing into the middle of a Taff Brigade...."
Whiskey Sierra 3 Down.
Taking stock of situation
A quick look round and it's clear that best bet is to make it to the high ground and go firm there. Kitson takes the lead and heads to the top of a small, knoll with good sized boulders scattered round a small depression at the top.
Lacey is still struggling up the slope with Pyke shouting at him to pull his finger out. Corporal Dewhurst reaches the top first. "Shit!" he mutters as he spots the first Taff shadows advancing out of the mist.
We are not alone
Judging by the kit and dodgy fieldcraft that these are militia unaware of their location, Dewhurst kneels and drops the obvious leader, throwing the Taffs into disarray. A second round and they vanish. Kitson spots another fire team moving in fast from the NW, and yet more pepperpoting in from the SW. Lacey pings at them hopefully with his Sterling only to receive a fusilade of accurate rifle fire in return.
Dewhurst now rushes to the rear of the hillock where he can cover both teams of approaching Taffs - a few rounds of 7.62 ping in a bit too close. Taking cover he jars his scope, losing valuable shots whilst he corrects it.
Free of any fire the Taffs to the NW close in. Dewhurst finally managesto put his weapon to his shoulder, . Two rounds - two fall - the rest throw themselves to the ground. Pyke spots for Dewhurst. Switching targets the Corporal momentarily halts the SW mob, but they scrabble into the maze of stonewalls and sheep pens and begin edging closer.
Kitson takes one in the shoulder
If things weren't tense enough, by now more Taffs appear are reaching the scne. To the South, a mix of militia and regulars - is that a Guards beret? Bootnecks? They use the hedgeline to inch towards the track. Dewhurst is still the only man with a weapon that reaches the Taffs and he works hard to keep them at bay. A flanking party appears to the SW, the Taffs form a gunline and rounds start getting on target - Pyke and Lacey are pinned by near misses. The more proficient Taffs in the hedgeline fling smoke grenades onto the track and try to rush the hillock - Lacey and Pyke fire their Sterlings while Kitson double taps away with his browning; the attack is broken up, but the General is a clear target and somewhere a Taff sniper fires his trusty .303. Lacey drags the wounded Kitson back - its not a life threatening wound but its a gun off the line as the Taffs to the SW now rush forward......
Dewhurst cops it
Dewhurst halts them, switches back to the next set of targets and stops them too with accurate fire. Then a burst from an Armalite catches him full in the chest and Dewhurst is down.
The Taffs notice the lack of long range firepower and build up for another push - a green berets and black woolly caps obviously marking the cadres; Lacey and Pyke change mags as the Taffs go for it, another hail of smoke grenades, over the hedges, across the track and up the hillock firing mainly from the hip. Shouts of "Mochen Coch!" and "Remember The Guards!" are clearly heard. Pyke and Lacey fire short, accurate bursts from the rocks and chop down a few advancing Taffs; a 9mm barks to Lacey's left - Kitson has dragged himself into the line and is blazing away - dropping the Taff NCO.
They'll be singing in the valleys tonight!
The line surges up the hill
It's almost over, it's the last minutes at Twickenham, the final scrum down.......but.......in the distance there is a faint whirr-thokker of rotors as three heavily laden Pumas and a Westland Scout with a Gympy poking out the door hove into view.
"Bloody, Bloody Hell!" sneers Captain Kinnock under his breath. He blows three long blasts on a whistle and the Taffs melt back into the fog shrouded treelines tracer rounds following them.
15 Game Turns, 45 minutes of ulcer inducing action. Maff piled on the tension with wave after wave of Free Taffs appearing from different points of the compass. There were so many of the buggers that at one point I thought Maff was re-enacting Max Boyce's 'The Incredible Plan'. Cold War: 1983 rules, as per, we played to the dice and they were with me. The Para sniper, Corporal Dawson, proved himself to be in the league of Gordon and Shughart. Very much man of the match.
We had bags of fun AND Maff got to use his newly built Westland Scout!